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Reading is a life skill and an integral part of English teaching; it is taught both discretely and with opportunities for reading throughout the curriculum. School's phonics scheme is Read, Write, Inc which is the same as our feeder infant school. School uses consistent strategies to teach reading skills and fluency, in order to develop a deeper understanding of the purpose and meaning of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as developing fluency to ensure each pupil’s reading age ensures they are able to access the age-related curriculum.

Enabling and Adapting the Reading Curriculum

At our school there are five strands to the teaching of reading:

1. The development of the fluency of reading: fluency is the bridge from phonics to comprehension. All pupils, who are working at developing fluency of reading, access the personalised online program Reading Plus, at school and at home.  Targeted pupils, who are unable to access this program, receive additional interventions such as FFT Lightning Squad reading intervention, Additional Literacy Support, Read Write Inc, and Reciprocal Reading – depending on the need of each pupil.  Pupils across the key stage access a  school’s reading spine which includes a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts in lessons, as well as whole school texts which are linked to enjoy & achieve weeks and life skills week. In addition, each class studies a class novel each term. School’s reading spine is chosen to enthuse, engage and challenge learners- all pupils use a range of genres through the key stage: poetry, children’s literature, biography, fantasy, folklore and folk tales, myths and legends, historical fiction, realistic fiction, non-fiction. Cultural capital is enhanced with the range of books used for developing both reading comprehension and reading for pleasure. It includes classics, modern, traditional and books with morals.  Books reflect current issues, cultural diversity and the interests of the pupils.


All children progress through the school’s graded home reading levels. For some pupils, needing to catch up, this may start with early reading RWI phonics books, matched to the phase of phonics the pupil is at. Fluency of reading progresses from level 6 early readers through to level 13+, independent readers.  After 13+ a pupil will be deemed to be a free reader, able to choose books from level 13+ or the school’s well-stocked library.  Pupils are encouraged to read daily at home and expected to read at least 3 to 4 times a week at the minimum. Parents and carers are encouraged to hear pupils read their scheme week or reading plus online and sign the reading record in their child’s planners.  Planners also have a list of suggested questions for parents to ask their child when hearing reading, to check for understanding.  Parents may write any comments in the planner too. Children also take home a reading-for-pleasure book/magazine/newspaper, to read to themselves either from the school library or from the class stock of books.

2. Decoding and comprehension is taught in every class. All staff are trained, through Fischer Family Trust’s reading training, in using the same approach to ensure reading skills develop across the key stage using a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts, understanding each genre’s layout. Reading skills taught are: how to use effective skimming, scanning and close reading; reading to locate or infer the meaning of unfamiliar words; how to annotate text and understand the main ideas; distinguish between fact and opinion; how to make predictions; how to summarise understanding; understanding the author’s intent and inference used by the author etc.  Each reading skill is taught progressively across the key stage.

For pupils with SEND and pupils needing catch up, a range of targeted interventions are used to support their learning.  These sessions are delivered, in addition to their reading lessons.  Additional Literacy Support (ALS), FFT Lightning Squad Reading and Read, Write Inc are used for pupils whose early reading is not fluent or who may need additional phonics support.  Reciprocal Reading (guided reading) is also used for pupils who are identified as not making sufficient progress, from their assessment tests in September, February and June; this is to ensure pupils are given the opportunity to catch up.

3. Book Talk is used to support children’s ability to talk about books, develop their confidence to offer ideas and re-shape them in the light of contributions.  Book Talk is delivered using the school’s reading spine. Staff encourages pupils to develop a variety of reading skills, with pupils becoming book detectives. This includes: posing and finding answers, using prior knowledge, investigating themes and deeper messages, developing inference, and making predictions; as well as investigating the author’s intents, characters, relationships, vocabulary and the structure of genres for fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Book Talk is delivered using the school’s progression tables and supports the skills needed for written comprehension.

4. Reading for pleasure is a key aspect of developing children’s reading skills. The school library is open on lunchtime. Children may borrow books for home use or can read in the library. The well-stocked library has a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, magazines and children’s newspapers to choose from. Various activities and competitions take place to enthuse pupils to read.  We regularly invite authors, illustrators and storytellers into school, to inspire children to read for pleasure.

In class, reading for-pleasure sessions are used to develop an understanding of the vast range of reading material available, in order to develop positive attitudes to reading and personal preferences. Popular authors and poets will be shared, with Book Talk used to support discussions, recommendations and personal choices.

Pupils take a reading-for-pleasure book/comic/magazine home to read on their own, as well a scheme book which they read to parents/carers.

5. Vocabulary teaching ensures the acquisition of and command of a language rich vocabulary. This is taught both as discrete lessons and integrated into the other four aspects of teaching reading.  It also supports the development of all aspects of English. 

Pupils in all classes read a class novel each term, which include both classic novels and novels with specific links to cross-curricular work.  In June, all classes spend a creative literacy fortnight exploring and producing work around a book.  Each term, the whole school delivers work through an “Enjoy and Achieve Week”,where pupils all read the same book/texts, enjoy visitors (storyteller, magician, illustrator/author, drama teacher), produce writing, take part in maths and science challenges.  In the autumn terms the theme is linked to developing environmental understanding: “Our Amazing Planet”, “Plastic Fantastic”, “Make a Difference – Inspiring Environmentalists” with visits from storyteller and author Adam Bushnell, the Environmental Agency and artist Susan Warlock in recent years. In other terms themes have included: “The Circus” with visits from illustrator & author Liz Million and circus skills workshops from Bell & Bullock; “Detective Cluedo: solving mysteries” with a visit from Yorkshire Trails, to investigate clue writing. Themes vary and often involve the production of a whole school publication, such as education trail leaflets around the village, “Our Community, Our Responsibility” and “When I Grow Up -The World Of Work” publications.

Ofsted in January 2020 stated, “Leaders have selected a wide-ranging list of texts. This challenges pupils’ thinking and encourages their thoughtful debate.”

The school assesses reading on entry into a new year group, mid-year and end of year using NFER tests for Years 3,4,5 and past SATs papers for Year 6. This allows the progress of each pupil to be tracked and the identification of pupils needing interventions. Reading levels are assessed each term. Each child takes a schonell reading test annually, to analyse their progress in meeting their chronological reading age.

Reading support is offered to parents, in reading workshops, to provide support for parents/carers to help their child to read skilfully and for pleasure.  In addition, opportunities change year on year, where parents can enjoy reading sessions with their children e.g. in world book day quizzes, reading afternoon teas, etc.

Speaking & Listening
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